Worried About Not Getting Your Premium Back? Bail Bonds Protect You From Worse Losses
Something that not many people realize when they attempt to get a bail bond is that the premium you pay to the bondsman is often not returnable or refundable. That can make people with tight budgets worry about getting a bond because they might not really be able to afford that loss. However, paying that premium saves you from worse losses should the defendant you're bailing out skip a required court appearance.
That Premium Might Not Be Returnable
The premium is the percentage of the bail that you pay to the bondsman to secure a bail bond. So, if bail is set at $50,000, you might pay 10 percent of that, or $5,000, to a bondsman to get a bail bond. The premium also acts as payment to the bondsman for services. In other words, that's their fee. They're not getting paid by the court and not doing this work for free; they're getting paid by you. So unless the bondsman does something to mess up the bond, chances are the premium is not refundable to you. That can be a real deterrent to some people because they can't just drop several thousand dollars from their accounts.
The Alternatives Are Risking Cash and Property
At this point, a person who has enough to afford the premium but cannot really afford to give that money away permanently has two options. One is to go with another bail method, usually paying the full bail in cash (which would be refundable in full if the defendant shows up to court as expected and fulfills all court orders) or offering property as bail. A third option is to simply not bail out the defendant; while that might work for people who are not happy with the defendant and don't want to bail them out at all, it's a difficult choice for those who don't want their family member or friend sitting in jail.
The problem with cash and property bonds is that you lose those if the defendant skips court or doesn't fulfill one of the conditions. So instead of losing $5,000, you'd lose $50,000 or whatever property you offered as bail. If you can afford to offer the premium amount to a bondsman, you're actually a lot safer that way because sometimes even the most diligent defendant can mess up and miss a court date by accident.
It is much better, in this case, to basically give away that premium, and then work out with the defendant later on about how they'll repay you than it is to put up cash or property and then lose it all because of some fluke that prevented the defendant from getting to court. The bondsman acts as a barrier to that loss.
Once the bail situation is over, you can discuss what to do next with whoever you just bailed out. The important thing is that they were bailed out and are back home.
For more information, reach out to a local 24/7 bail bonds company.